Chinese New Year has become a worldwide celebration that many of us like to follow by eating traditional food and decorating our homes every January and February. But – how much do you actually know about this time of year? Here are ten fun facts about Chinese New Year!
1. It’s the Year of the Rabbit!
Each Chinese New Year is represented by an animal. For example, 2023 will be the year of the rabbit!
2. What are the 12 animals of the zodiac?
There are 12 animals in total that represent the Chinese zodiac. There is the ox, the dragon, the rat, the snake, the goat, the monkey, the horse, the dog, the pig, the rooster, and, of course, the tiger and the rabbit!
3. Chinese New Year dates for 2023
The specific dates for Chinese New Year change every year. In 2023, Chinese New Year will take place between the 22nd of January and the 9th of February. So, mark your calendars!
4. Who chooses the dates for Chinese New Year?
The dates for the Chinese New Year are based on the Chinese lunar calendar. The first day of the month always lands on a new moon, which is why the specific dates change every year!
5. How does this compare to the Gregorian calendar?
Compared to the Gregorian calendar (followed by much of the world), the Chinese lunar calendar is always between 21 and 51 days behind.
6. Time to shut up shop!
The Chinese New Year holiday period lasts for seven days in total. During that time, all non-essential services in China are closed for celebrations. This includes offices, banks, shops, and more! Why not follow the pattern… if you run your own business?
7. Light up the sky!
Lanterns are iconic across China – and especially around Chinese New Year! They are usually red and are found hanging in front of homes, businesses, gardens, and even on rivers. People will also send them into the sky, and at last, they see the light!
8. Are you waiting for your red envelope?
Sticking with the color red, red envelopes are often exchanged as tokens of appreciation and gifts around this time of year. They usually contain little rewards and gifts – and are meant to bring the receiver good luck!
9. What’s with all the red?
Red is a very important color in China. It represents success, good fortune, and vitality. That is why, especially around this time of year, you will find all kinds of red decorations lining the streets and in peoples’ homes!
10. There’s a time for everything
Along with bringing good fortune, Chinese people are also very keen on keeping bad fortune away! For that, around Chinese New Year, citizens will not wash their hair, their clothes, or even take out the trash! They believe that these are all ways of getting rid of good fortune.
12. What does the rabbit represent?
Those people born in Years of the Rabbit are thought to be extremely lucky! The rabbit is said to be a symbol of beauty and mercy – and those known by this symbol are said to be peaceful individuals.
FAQs about Chinese New Year
What are some previous Years of the Rabbit?
The Year of the Rabbit has previously been celebrated in 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939… and beyond!
How is Chinese New Year celebrated?
Aside from lighting and hanging red lanterns up and exchanging red envelopes, people celebrate Chinese New Year by having a family dinner on New Year’s Eve, exchanging gifts, lighting fireworks and firecrackers. There are still plenty of regions in China that also make animal sacrifices for the New Year!
What is the Chinese New Year Lantern Festival?
On the 15th day of the first lunar month, the night of the next full moon, people come together for the Lantern Festival. The lanterns, which are predominantly red, are lit, hung, flown, and floated in the rivers in the towns to celebrate the final day of the Chinese New Year.
Do you know any fun facts about the Chinese Year of The Rabbit? Share them in the comments below!